Posts Tagged ‘Cost of Discipleship’

Bonhoeffer the AssassinThere is newly published volume by Baker Academic that is worth checking out for those interested in the theology and life of Bonhoeffer and particularly how he steered the waters of his pacifist declarations (found most clearly in his 1937 Discipleship) and his involvement with the Abwehr‘s conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.

Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony G. Siegrist, and Daniel P. Umbel’s contribution to Bonhoeffer studies looks to be promising: Bonhoeffer the Assassin? Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking (Baker Academic 2013). HERE  is the news release and HERE is a brief excerpt.

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English: Scanned cover of book

I’ve just returned from a short family vacation where I was able to spend time with parent, siblings, nephews and nieces.  One of my nephews (who just turned 15 this year) has been increasingly interested in reading books concerned with theology.  Needless to say, at Christmas time I purchased him a copy of Bonhoeffer‘s “Cost of Discipleship” (the mass market version and not the DBW-English critical edition).  Well…it turns out that he has not only read it, but is already re-reading it.  It warms this pastor-theologian’s (can I call myself that???) heart to see this.  We had several discussions about theological matters: particularly historicity of Scripture and conservative-liberal theological perspectives.

We had some great discussions and I hope I was helpful for the journey.  I described the work of Bonhoeffer as being rather conservative in his own context, but somewhat liberal in the context of contemporaneous U.S. (pre-?)Evangelicals (a term which is technically anachronistic for that time period in the sense it has since acquired).

To be honest, I have not often even found pastor’s with such a thirst for theology and learning.  I was able to share a bit about my own passion for Bonhoeffer’s writings, but in particular what stands out to me was his spiritual disciplines in community as a pastor-theologian.  He thought deeply, pastored carefully, wrote and preached passionately and prayed fervently.  To me, these are marks of a great pastor-theologian and someone I personally hope my nephew will continue to read and emulate.  It is never too early to begin following the lives of the saints of old.

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Every year I give books away to the graduates of my congregation and this year was no exception.  For our one graduate this year I gave a copy of Bonhoeffer‘s “Cost of Discipleship” (Surprise, surprise :-)…and, yes…it was the paperback mass-market version rather than the hardback critical edition, Marc 😉 ).  Since this has been one of my favorite books since I was 12 and I thought this graduate could not only handle the depths of this short volume but even take the time to read it I thought it particularly appropriate.

In previous years I’ve given certain apologetic books that are basic (like those of Lee Stroble: “The Case for Faith” and “The Case for Christ”).  I’ve also given away full concordances and significant Bible dictionaries (I did show these students how to use these resources thoroughly so they could get the most out of them).  I guess I was wondering what you would give away for a gift to someone heading off to college or into the world?  Is there a certain author’s books you would be most likely to give or a certain book in particular?  Why that one?

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